Posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
Walking out of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, I found myself confused. This is the first installment of an announced five-film series but the movie somehow feels like a standalone one-off movie. I know critics like to complain about films which seem to exist only to set up a potential franchise, but this felt to me like the exact opposite. As the characters concluded this adventure, I felt like I was shutting the book on their stories. What could the Fantastic Beasts sequels possibly be about? Who might they focus on? Let’s take a deep dive into the Wizarding World to discover what we know and can speculate about the Fantastic Beasts sequels.
The following article contains spoilers for the first Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them film and the Harry Potter book series. I also highlight excerpts from previous articles posted on /Film.
How Many Movies Are Planned?
Why Did They Expand to Five Movies?
Money? Writer J.K. Rowling explained that the reason she expanded to five films from three was because she found the story arc needed five films to be told correctly:
“Originally, to tell you the truth, we said a trilogy as a placeholder. We wanted to be honest with people that it was going to be more than one movie, but we were feeling our way. Then, there came a point in the drafting of our story where I said to David [Yates], ‘You know, this feels like five movies, and I think I’m pretty certain about that.’ It’s ambitious to tell it in five to be honest because we’re spanning 19 years, but I can see an arc to five – so that’s how it happened. It came out of the material.”
Who Will Direct the Fantastic Beasts Sequels?
David Yates, who directed half the Harry Potter movies and returned for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will be back for the next movie and probably the next three as well.
What Will the Fantastic Beasts Sequels Be Titled?
We don’t yet have a title for any of the Fantastic Beasts sequels, but star Eddie Redmayne has revealed that the sequels will keep the “Fantastic Beasts and” subheading, with the second part of the title being changed out for the various sequels.
When Will They Be Released?
The sequel is already scheduled to hit theaters in November 2018, with the third film planned for November 20th, 2020. If we’re looking at the release pattern, this probably means we’ll see the fourth Fantastic Beasts in 2022 and the fifth and final movie in 2024.
What Do We Know From the Source Material?
Unlike the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts is not adapted from a series of highly successful narrative books. Fantastic Beasts is adapted from a textbook on the magical creatures of the wizarding world that author J.K. Rowling penned for charity. While the book was never intended for the big screen, Warner Bros circled back to Rowling hoping to make more films in the Harry Potter world and Rowling pitched the idea of a series of films following the author of this textbook, magizoologist Newt Scamander.
According to the “About the Author” section of the book, Scamander became a magizoologist because of his own interest in fabulous beasts, as well as the encouragement of his mother, an enthusiastic Hippogriff breeder. The Hufflepuff was expelled from Hogwarts, and later joined the Ministry of Magic in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.
One fan asked Rowling why Newt can carry a wand, practice magic, and do work for the Ministry of Magic when he was expelled from Hogwarts, especially since Hagrid wasn’t afforded those liberties. Her response: there are four more movies. Here is a bit more info on the known character’s future history:
His career included a brief stint in the Office of House-elf Relocation, a transfer to the Beast Division, the creation of the Werewolf Register in 1947, the 1965 passage of the Ban on Experimental Breeding, and many research trips for the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau. His contributions to Magizoology earned him an Order of Merlin, Second Class in 1979.
Newt retired in Dorset with his wife Porpentina and their pet “Kneazles”: Hoppy, Milly, and Mauler. He had a grandson named Rolf, who married Luna Lovegood some time after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
What Do the Harry Potter Books Tell Us About Newt?
While the character appeared briefly in some of the books, making an appearance on Harry’s Marauder’s Map, in house portraits, and on a Famous Wizard card, this is his first real story. And Rowling penned the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay, her first.
Will Eddie Redmayne Be the Primary Hero for the Whole Franchise?
One of my biggest problems with Fantastic Beasts, despite how much I enjoyed it, was that Newt Scamander’s story already felt tangential to the story that Rowling is building up to. The story leaves all of our heroes split up, and it seems like getting the gang all together again and having Newt continue as the main character might feel incredibly contrived.
Producer David Heyman has admitted, “I don’t think [Newt will be at] the heart of all of them. I think he’ll be part — so will Tina, Queenie, and Jacob — will be part of the next one.” Further confirming what all the Harry Potter fans have assumed, he clarified in answer to a follow-up question, “[Dumbledore] and Credence and Grindelwald. I think they will be the main players.”
Who else may return for the next films? We do have some hints of who may return and what to expect from the story.
We do know Johnny Depp, and Zoe Kravitz are among those scheduled to return.
Dan Fogler told us that his “original contract was for three films with a chance of four.”
And Rowling has confirmed that Alison Sudol’s Queenie Goldstein will return in the next movie.